Monday, 25 March 2013

dancing girl press, spring fever sale!

3 chapbooks for $10, you say? Normally $7 each, you say? Why not go buy some beautiful handmade books from DGP, possibly even including *ahem* Quick to the Hothouse?

Surely there is no finer way to wait out this wintery winter than with all the poetry in the bath...


Poets & Writers

I'm now in the poets and writers directory, so will hopefully be getting asked to come and read stories places right...about...now?

The List

The hyper-talented Kirsty Logan just commissioned one of my flash fictions for The List. Read it here, or get your arse to Scotland and pick up the magazine.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Not-yet-spring fever

Whether or not the outside is wallowing in sleepy snowfall, there's a sunbeam by this window worth lying inside, worth taking your clothes off and reclining upon, worth offering up a stretch of naked skin that says tattoo me with your pretty yellow fingers, grab my shins, scratch my cheeks, be my saturday breakfast valentine. Whether or not we have plans for the afternoon, I need to heft this body off the wooden floor and jackknife upright and thud down the stairs like a pocketblade just picked up and flung at the pretty assistant who is standing by the wall. Whether or not we are going to the lesbian dating pond, I'm still happy to dab the backs of my ears with orange oil and blossoms, I'm still pleased to be a thing with dappled back marks and nicks from the whips. I've still a cowgirl crop in this girl's back pocket because we've better proactive practices than merely waiting with a bit in between the teeth, waiting for a neigh, waiting.

I anoint the flat with grapefruit oil and blutorange, I burn them in the burners, and when we come back home from being outside the air is soft and round and spurts beneath the teeth. I make things here good because all we have to wait out the endless tundra are small soft things and the ability to make here, just this little bit, pleasant and sweet. I turn the light red and stick another picture frame to the wall, I like you, I like girls, I like the smell of oranges, I like cotton dresses blowing on a washing line in the back garden, I like a verdant copse with spatterings of dandelions and daisies, I miss London's dandelions, Berlin, you had better start putting out for me soon.

Take a notebook and tuck it in your back pocket and walk foot after foot towards the end of the road. There, you will find a small park with a swing and the snowmen will be kicked over by then, I promise, I pray. Remember Switzerland and Belle and Sebastian on your walkmen, remember Lolita and the swings, remember one afternoon off a week and now that makes you laugh because you have trouble conjuring up the work to fill one, never mind. Remember that all things come in cycles and no matter how much your jerk brain tricks you it's Sisyphus, there will be a point in the day where the big bad rock starts rolling on down.

Cast your lot in with every poker round, stop clutching at your straws, be generous, be the soft floating dandelion timepieces, be yourself and when they roll their eyes be pleased. There is no greater winner than the fool with the hoolah hoop whirling like a hurdy gurdy; there is no greater pleasure than this sunbeam, the sun. The moment you hold back on the bets and sit this life out is the moment that your hand will start coming up tricks, flushes and full houses, and your tricks are worth nothing if you've sworn off the game.

I am pleased because breakfast was bakery croissants, buttered and flaked, because fresh squeezed orange juice, because Saturday, coffee, because there is a drag queen burlesque party tonight. I am pleased because I did the I Ching, and after so many readings of doom and despair it said never mind pretty Jane, the cycle is upended, you're not going backwards, if you recognize this walkway it's because this is all part of it, and spring, I promise you, will come.

This is all I can think of and this is me all off kilter and I am as impatient as any Greek god who dropped a thunderbolt to prove a point--if I had thunderbolts now I would be flinging them at you and the sky and at every snowdrift, because I am crazybored of this winter time, I am stir crazy lady, I am enjoying the movies and redlight nights but I am also a thing of fury who just wants to skip by the old canal and drink a long frothy pint and look out over the Lee River marshes where the bugs make mayfly promises and fuck and die that very same afternoon.

I have a friend with a boat and a promise of a dry gin fizz and where are all the flower markets and do you ever wake up in sweats with thoughts of wicker, or are you even dreaming birchwards? and if these words have anything to say it is that there is a sunbeam and it has been a long time since sunbeams and I am slightly crazy with coffee and it is minus four degrees, still, outside.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Words

I stretch and I stink and the day has got to go somewhere, it's been a while since writing, so how about here? Are the words a bike you can ride upon or are the words more like a foreign tongue from a cobbled town you left a while and have forgotten how to stand in the baker and ask for a loaf? I hope they are one and I fear they're the other, but I guess the bottom of the barrel is for neverminds because whether one or the other, it matters not, all we've got is that sooner or later you need to come back to this proud horse and find your stirrup feet, your trot.

Today I'm going to buy red roses and scatter the petals in the snow, or at least geraniums, because we are money poor and time rich and we laugh at the people who made the other trade. Today I am going to shop in the market for outcrops of vegetables, for vine leaves to wrap around squidgy, nutty rice, for pillows of Turkish bread dappled with black cumin, for dinner. Never mind the snow that is still all over the ground, never mind the frozen canal.

We are sober and it is day, and this is a wonder of small proportions, but look! A notebook, a black ink pen, a hot shower, a limp daffodil. A day, a morning, tired yoga legs, who would have guessed? The kitchen is full of broken mussel shells from yesterday's feasts. The bed is full of sleeping boy. I have a tabletop and I am good with this, I have decided, I am up and fine. Hot coffee headphones heartlight and happiness. Loud loud music, straight down the ear canal.

I say I am fine but also I am furious at the everlasting snowfall. Where is my dandelion clock picnic, my avocado breakfast, why are our feet still sliding? At the laptop, distractions float to the surface like white froth in a wide lake and I turn my head because I have been Cassandra, that girl, always trying to predict what the future has got to hold and seeing the world laugh and turn until finally I lose my mind twenty thousand comments under the sea.

I have not read the news so far this year and things are better because, I am unashamed to admit, the world is too vast and unwieldy and full of broken saucers I have no glue to mend. Full of night terrors I lack the alarms to wake from and full of smug and full of shit, and when did we decide it was better to spend the day holding a magnifying glass to curdled scum, trying to get it to smoke and go bang? If you are sitting at the umpire chair looking out and judging the screeds that unfurl, I salute you from the spot I am floating, deep out to sea. Perhaps one day you will need to come out and rescue me with a bright red plastic ring, but right now I can't bear it, right now I am fine.

I wonder if we all gave up the news for encyclopedias from days of yore, maybe we'd all believe that our future was in formica and the surface of Mars, spaceships, white undulating surfaces, robots, love. I wonder if we could trick ourselves to believe in all the kinds of future off-space and in-sky, I wonder if we'd believe we didn't need it, I wonder if we could be not scared and just grinning, I wonder if the atom bomb has to be real.

Of course, you know me, I am besotted by apocalyptic futures and space monkeys and stars that you stare at in far far distances, stars you want that you wish upon but the light has taken so long to travel that they're already dead.

Last week was the long night of museums here and I wanted to go to the observatory but it got too late and the stars all gave up and went to bed. I'm going to look at that now because there is nothing else I can think of to rip us out of this forever winter than the chaos of hot stars in cold space as seen through a pretty telescope in a field surrounded by statues of Russians. You think about drifting and it is the air that is cold, but the thing you are going towards, the bright light suspended in the dark endless factory roomthat thing is pure white heat.

Monday, 11 March 2013

On making words out of the ends of your dreams

Before anything else, before you think, before coffee and emails and reality drip like coffee percolators into your slow breakfast brain. Before you've had a chance to let the world infiltrate with its petty demands and puppy dog eyes and wouldn't you just respond to me? Before the night has wholly left you and the dreams have sunk into murky lakes and reality, that many headed beast, has got its teeth into the scruff of your neck and started to laugh. That's the ticket and the time, that's the thing, here's the place, just sit for a moment, say something, sit for a while.

I slept the whole night long in fits and fevers, I dreamt of airplanes I was picked to fly. Let's spend this winter storm in a car out on the parked place, said Jane's brain, and it was a peculiar place to be, the boot was filled with snow. Never mind. I sat there besides and picked my beside manner like a wicked nurse full of the demons that rise up like barbaric children, that come up in the mouth like bile. There's a reason why your throat is constricted and it's not because of too much fun, I'm sure, who could ever blame the decadence and debauch when all those roosters come home to cluck?

I like to talk about ambulance sirens and also the siren song on either side of rocks. I like to tramp on spring board pine needles and bounce my way to the hole in the tree. I'll take this hole and fill it with my own kind of nuts, that is tiny wrapped parcels with ribbons and string. That is the way of things in the deep dark wood: I push them in far and wait out this feeling and later in the year when the truth comes full circle I'll put my hand in the hole in the trunk, and I will take them out again.

I may have said this before but like those Indian mystics who see no need to move on from the om, I'd like to tell it to you again: all we got is the decision we make to feel this or that, like things are two parts of a card and it's switching in the sky. I want to feel nice, please. I'd like this body of mine to be good beneath the emperor brain penguin who takes all the choices and fans them out like so. I dreamt of fans last night too, of waving, they were pretty paper promises making deals about the shifting of the wind.

So I tell you that the morning is the time to place the world in a direction for the day, and if you do this right you'll be aimed like a dagger for the jugular and my god it will feel so damn good. I am trying to do this right the way the sun is striving to make itself over the distant buildings, and though so much of it is just the earth, we've a part to play in the motion. Straighten your back and stand up and say let's go, straighten your mouth, now curve it. Let your cheeks take the strain and let a fast car take you through.

How many vases would it take to make you remember the world is full of flowers? How many cut stems? I'll bring you a bouquet if you bring me a dime, or just a grin from the other side of the tracks, or just a hi. It gets lonely being the princess in the garden of bougainvillaea so I'd like to give you a key to my wrought iron gate, I'd like to ask you hello if you would like to come inside. Tip tap tick tack give the girl her heart back, give the boys a place in the podium, give the world a chance at the sun. I'd like it better if we were holding hands beneath the green fleece blanket and I'd like it more if the sky wasn't so upside down.

Approach the day like the day is a nervous horse and you are afraid of big teeth, you do not want to get bit. By this I mean, be kind to your heart there, be nice to your soul, be good. Be calm and wary of too many wrong choices at the outset because so long as you are up you may as well make the most of it. Right? Well, no. I think the best for you now is to just yoke yourself to this beast and throw your feet up and tense your knees and not even question the wisdom. I think bucking is fine, the trick is to just get started, to ride.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Sunday, 3 March 2013

This is the kind of nonsense a hungover Jane will type if you let her near a keyboard.

Isn't it funny that people put their hands together when they pray? What is that, this feeling of needing to push against something, hand on hand, pressure, because otherwise what if you're just a human person sitting there in the abyss with your eyes closed, waiting for the bang? I am trying it now and I tell you it feels good, this, the thing, hand on hand, pressure. I am trying it now and it feels fine.

Today we read of drug trips on Erowid and my brain filled in all the gaps between a tab on the tongue and sugar spacedust gypsy flies. Remember that time the heaven were revolving so fast we were finally just people in space clinging onto the big spinny ball? Remember that time we lay on the grass and maybe it was wet but it didn't matter because cubes of water space crystal dust mine gold mine, cubes of this is real life, cubes of me.

I like the way you feel uncertain about things because certainty is a sharp stick and people use it to hit on heads. I like the way you draw and I wouldn't mind to crawl inside if you opened the tiny glass door, I wouldn't mind the view. This body beneath me is readjusting all the time and I find it hard, sometimes, to remember what to do with it. I guess the best is to just keep sitting. Finally if you do that something might work out.

I let the boy be a french man in the afternoon and I am a needy kitten and gas explosions make the sky twenty different colours hello hooray bang. Tingles in my shoulder blades and old muscles who forgot the way to get in touch, peppermint tea, peppered with scattershot, glittered with ice cream, hand me that bagel, hey ho let's go.

Nothing says kiss me quick like a long date on a short afternoon when all the sandcastles are holding fort against twenty types of tide. Pretty coloured flags ratattatting are every thing I'd like to look upon hand in hand. Take me to the slot machines and we can watch the colours of the machines light up like all the bells and cherry say ding ding ding! I like to hold your hand and say DING, I'd like to be your clapper and find the outside of your bell. I would sit all day in the church tower like I was the hunchback trying to express a small cube of love in the only way I know how.

That way is the loud ring because anything softer and I'd be worried you couldn't hear it, anything more quiet and I'd be scared you weren't there. Maybe you are there and maybe not, but either way I will fill this tiny village with my own loud clangs just on the off chance, just for the maybe that could be. Who wouldn't like to spend a winter vacation in French ooh la la land, munching on thick cheese and bread crusts, glugging at the wine? Of course, of course you say that Paris is not for the snow, winter is kittens, give me springtime or let all the peasants burn.

Strange to see the images that come to the top in this long weird hungover panning, yes, I may not have mentioned but my brain is a dabbled door filled with Christmas tree coral, spurting out and in with the patterns of the sea. It's much more colourful down here than you could ever imagine, all your talk of other oceans, all your preoccupations with blue. If I was an oxygen tank, I wouldn't mind being yoked to your mouth and feeling the bubbles that in out in out in all the way to your lungs.

I don't believe that tar is black but I'll give a poke around in here and keep my fingers crossed for the Chilean miners Your heart is a deep hard hole and I wouldn't like to spend too long tapping for the fear that maybe things would start to cave. Let's cave. Let's sit with Plato for a while and let these shadows pass across our other walls and let's be happy with the flickers from this strange source of light because that's enough, or it should be, why are you always begging for the truth? I have seen the truth and wandering that world out there is nothing compared to the delicious warmth of this cavey fire, so gather close, let's talk about the rocks...

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Dousing for Spingtime

Stop all this clicking and write something wonderful, like a bat going Hah-Hah! or like all those crows you said you'd persuade to be your people. Make good art, that's the thing, but bad art is better than not-art and everything is better than the internet, that foul and hungry beast. If I could show you a graph with all the hours you've wasted on click and refresh, you would weep, or you would post it on your blog and wait to see if the world was impressed. We are all, all of us, reaching out to the world through what we have got and the instant gratification is so sweet but the longer you spend tapping your finger like a cuck-headed pigeon, the less it all works out in the end.

Can you see that speck of blue sky over there dictating your feeling like a jolly puppet master saying jump, jump, leap! It's okay to give yourself up to that guy, because that guy know how to make the good times roll. Like the good times are dice and you are playing craps with the Devil and he promised you something good if you got all doubles, and you're in this one three for three.

Do you think that creation is more like tapping into the great unwashed source pipe or do you like to pretend you're making your own castles with sand and clay? That's the question we're pondering on today's snatch game, that's the one that keeps coming up with all the bells.

I'd like to believe that it is not just me and these are not all mine; may I give up my charges, may I pass them along? What if all these pens and pencils were just crossed sticks dowsing for water, if by water I mean a story that is burbling under the earth, if by dowsing I mean showing up every day and hoping for the best? In the end that is all I got and all you got and the rest is just $20,000 in the pocket of your MFA master and a couple of contacts in a pocket, folded in half from the sun.

I guess what I am trying to say is here I am and I am waiting, I have fulfilled my side of the bargain, I am sat here on a Saturday morning at first light with black coffee and a green fleece blanket wrapped around my waist. This spot is surrounded by yellow cut flowers, tulips on the right and roses on the left, and type-written go-faster slogans all across my wall and the forehead of my laptop, that's got to be something, that's got to be enough.

We would like to take a fast trip to an outcrop of rock, sit there sipping cold fizzy wine while the waterfall behind us practices channeling his own Zeus, tapping out his own thunder, bang bang bang. We would like to take a slow stroll to a piney forest, walk there with squidged white bread sandwiches in a screen printed cloth bag, bend and sniff that woodland floor, wow wow wow. And I don't know about you but I've been dreaming of the children's playground at night with the red and blue roundabout, I want to hold onto the bars and lean backwards and open my mouth and spin around, around, whee!

All these options for a springtime day, because we are back there after the darkest winter since records began, so the papers tell us, so the outlets whine. I stayed indoors and tried to tap that rock seam, wiggling my crossed sticks, waiting my turn. But I am goddamn glad it is over, I am ready for fleeted feet and hip hoorays, I am longing for the sun.

Would you like to stand outside, anywhere, just outside as long as there is some kind of pure on light switching across your skin? I would. This is actually all I have to say today, in this roundabout backandforth way, in this way and that: It is March now and we have bright bicycles, the lakes are wet, pleasure is a smooth and simple pebble, buy me an orange and watch me throw it in the air and play catch.

I am opening myself up to happiness, I am stretching my fingers in each direction and leaving my chest and belly unguarded, I do not mind if it comes as a wallop or a pat. I am here and the sun is shining and you are in the bedroom and life is pretty damn fine. I am going to pour another cup of coffee from the percolator and stand outside in this blanket and drink it. I am going to wave at the neighbours and grin at the sun.